MOTOR enthusiasts Geoff Platten and David Gregory have set out to follow in the tyre tracks of the famous film The Italian Job.

Friends and family waved the duo off in their red Mini on Sunday afternoon from The Bear in Staverton on their 3,000-mile trip that will take in the locations from the iconic 1969 film which starred Michael Caine.

Fans of the film will know that it is not possible to drive in all the locations the three Minis were seen in the movie - through shopping arcades and sewers, across rooftops, down church steps during a wedding and up a ramp into a coach.

But the journey through France, Belgium and Germany along with a round trip from Turin around the challenging bends of the Italian-French Alpine roads, will visit lots of the film locations.

Pupils at Staverton School are following their progress this week thanks to modern technology, as they are receiving live images of the journey via a Vodafone link. They are incorporating information received in their geography and mathematics lessons. The pair hope to arrive in Italy on Friday.

The journey takes in the city of Turin elegant squares,colonnaded walkways, Roman ruins, and the Palazzo Carignnano which now houses the National Museum of the Italian Risorgimento, which was the location for the Minis to be loaded with gold bullion.

The final location visit, and the most exciting for motor buffs, is the Fiat Factory where the innovative rooftop test track provided the location for the rooftop chase.

Their pair began by aiming to raise £1,500 for the Variety Club of Great Britain, which they soon exceeded and they have already raised a further £3,500 which they have donated to Larkrise Farm and Stepping Stones in Trowbridge and a Cheltenham charity connected to Mr Gregory.

Geoff Platten said: “It has been months in the planning and we are finally on our way. I am really pleased with the money we have raised for charity over the past few months a figure that exceeds £5,000 in total.”